No major side-effects of HCQ: ICMR

Indian Council for Medical Research has said that there are no major side-effects of hydroxychloroquine and people who have been prescribed this medicine can continue to take it under strict medical supervision.

“Taking biological plausibility, in-vitro data and safety of this drug [HCQ], we recommend it under strict medical supervision,” the ICMR DG told media at a press conference in New Delhi.

The statement by the ICMR comes a day after the World Health Organization announced that it had “temporarily” suspended clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for Covid-19 being carried out across a range of countries as a precautionary measure.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has advised against the use of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, saying it found no evidence, in randomised clinical trials, of drug’s effectiveness for coronavirus treatment. WHO Executive Director Michael J Ryan said, “At present, there is no evidence from a randomised control trial of the effectiveness of HCQ in the treatment of prophylaxis against Covid-19”.

ICMR said, “Amongst healthcare workers involved in Covid-19 care, those on HCQ prophylaxis were less likely to develop SARS-CoV-2 infection, compared to those who were not on it.” mentioning one of the three studies done in India.

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